European Soccer

Tuesday Kickoff: Friedel maintains No. 1 role, Meireles heads to Turkey and more

Friedel (Getty Images)

Tottenham's acquisition of standout French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris figured to put American Brad Friedel's starting job in jeopary, but after Friedel's showing on Saturday, Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas has made it clear that the 41-year-old veteran is still the man to beat for the job.

Villas-Boas praised Friedel for his highlight-reel performance against Norwich City and offered that the 25-year-old Lloris won't have anything just given to him despite his status and reputation after his £12 million move from Lyon.

"When you transfer it's not written in the contract that you have to play," Villas-Boas said. "(Lloris) has to compete against three good goalkeepers, and at the moment Brad is doing extremely well. He deserves to be playing, and he'll continue to do so."

Villas-Boas' comments following Tottenham's last match have reportedly irked France manager Didier Deschamps, who claimed that Lloris "has not appreciated" what was said. If Lloris is to beat out Friedel, he will put a stop to his record streak of consecutive Premier League starts, which currently stands at 307 and dates back to 2004.

Here are a few more stories to get your day going:


The transfer window might be closed in England, but it remains open in Turkey until Wednesday, and Fenerbahce managed to add another former Premier League player to its roster.

Chelsea sold Portuguese midfielder Raul Meireles to Fenerbahce for a reported fee of £8 million, offloading a player that had a bigger role under Villas-Boas last year but was not among Roberto Di Matteo's top choices this season. 

Meireles, who joined Chelsea from Liverpool toward the beginning of last season, has started just once in all competitions this season and joins Michael Essien as midfielders offloaded by the Blues during the transfer period. He joins former Liverpool teammate Dirk Kuyt with the Turkish club.


Like in Turkey, the transfer window in France remains open another day as well, and Paris St-Germain added yet another international-caliber player into the mix by signing Dutch right back Gregory van der Wiel from Ajax.

The deal was reportedly agreed to on Friday but was not completed until Monday, as Van der Wiel joins the French power on a four-year deal. The move for the 24-year-old Van der Wiel is his first as a professional, as he had spent his entire career with Ajax after coming up through the club's storied academy.


Sven-Goran Eriksson's next destination is Thailand. 

The well-traveled manager and former England, Mexico and Ivory Coast boss has become the technical director of Thai club BEC Tero Sasana, a club in search of its third league title but one that sits in fourth place in the top flight. Eriksson's new team is well behind leaders Muang Thong United and seven points behind third-place Buriram United, the club that employs former University of Akron star and San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Anthony Ampaipitakwong.

Eriksson was most recently the coach of Leicester City before departing last October.


What do you think of the goalkeeping situation developing at Tottenham? Do you think Villas-Boas is handling it correctly? Do you think Chelsea's midfield depth will suffer without the likes of Meireles and Essien? What do you make of PSG adding Van der Wiel? Eriksson's latest move sound about right to you?

Share your thoughts below.

  • James

    AVB is an idiot. Why would you pay that kind of money for a GK, let a lone a GK like that who has a reputation and needs to play.


  • lions

    You don’t pay 15 million for a keeper or any player to ride the bench. You have to at least play them to justify the money and save face. That being said, Lloris is new to the league and the team. He needs a few weeks to get caught up to speed. By end of the month he will be a starter.

    Friedel’s record is at 301 games I believe. It won’t get past 305. sadly


  • NATO

    why didn’t Fulham tour America when they had 5 Yanks playing?why didn’t they tour in summer 2011 when Clint was at his PEAK and tons of fans would dig deep to see him play.

    They missed a bunch of opportunities to reward their growing US fanbase


  • afw

    Could Friedel be loaned out or does his contract run out next summer? Is he only able to get “1 year options”?

    Did he ever get offers from Man United or Barcelona or AC Milan? You know, really big clubs. I mean even if he was not a number 1, you gotta imagine he could be a no2 or compete with the number 1 for that spot


  • Joe+G

    That’s manager-speak for “I won’t replace you now, Brad, but don’t make any mistakes…”


  • JJ

    I like this, I think that if Lloris is as good as everyone says he is, then he will not have any problem taking over for Brad. This just means that AVB is putting the best team on the pitch. Oh and I do have faith in AVB hes young, get over it, give him time and he will come through.


  • Dave from Charlotte

    Hugo will play…likely in Cup competitions unless Brad has a dip in form. At his age, he gets 1 year deals…but don’t feel too bad as he’s making like $6M a year.

    If he can’t find a gig in the Premier league next year, he’ll come back to MLS for 2-3 years, be subject to the allocation process as a former USMNT’er and likely get really good DP money.

    He’ll be okay…


  • RLW2020

    and he will be 42 by the end of the season. can’t blame the club for looking into the future a bit. although $12 million is a lot for any Goalkeeper..


  • Tyler

    Can’t blame the club for searching out a future keeper, but dropping star player cash on one to ride behind one of the EPL’s top keepers is franky the kind of crap I’d expect from the modern Man City.


  • The Imperative Voice

    As a long term FFC fan…..ppppppshaw. The Dempsey-Fulhamers are a cranky bunch. Fulham did come to the US for the all-star year. They offered Dempsey a long term deal to perpetuate your little Fulhamerica dream and he turned it down and forced a mid-contract transfer. Between that and the Eddie Johnson fiasco, I’d rather they sign good players than make the fair weather bunch happy by doing whatever the American fans want. [Initially, sign Dempsey. At the end, sell Dempsey. Whatever’s clever I guess.]

    My reward of late was them coming back on Juventus and making the Europa final. To the extent Dempsey helped that, great, but I’d rather have serious success than an American junket with friendly games.


  • Dank

    AVB couldn’t bench him after last week. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Lloris is the starter sooner rather than later. And honestly, I think Brad will stay at the club as the #2, ready to step in whenever he’s needed. He’s a professional.


  • The Imperative Voice

    That’s funny because it was my first thought when I saw the article. You don’t sign a player of this quality to let them rot. Friedel is playing well but if you bother with the transfer you play the guy.

    Generally speaking he lost all my respect when ManU came back in the 3-3 game, punctuated by what diMatteo accomplished afterwards.


  • THomas

    As a man in a similar situation to you imperative voice, I couldn’t agree more. fulham first and if that means an American improves the team, all the better. If not, Eddie Johnson, see ya. Well said.


  • Brett

    Lloris should be thanking him for the chance to acclimate.

    Some of you guys play too much FIFA, you think you can just throw a new GK behind a completely unfamiliar back 4 and have him competing at the highest level. Friedel is a stalwart for a reason. He bosses his backline and owns his area. Lloris can learn a thing or two from him during this transitional period.


  • Tyler

    Nobody is questioning the decision to have a backup learn to one day take over the spot, but to spend superstar money on him is just ridiculous.


  • away goals

    The sizable price tag attached to lloris doesn’t really add pressure to start him immediately.

    He’s 25. Spurs spent $$ to buy their gk for the next 10-15 years. No one will care that the lloris era began january 13 instead of septemer 12.


  • The Imperative Voice

    All due respect but the notion that I should be secure in the long-term (10-15 year) tenure of a player I just purchased from his old team verges on self-refuting.

    I say 5 years because a player from Lyon is going to be used to winning titles and making the CL and is going to find this team on the outside looking in (1 CL appearance in club history) and get frustrated … particularly if AVB is around any length of time.


  • whoop-whoop

    Awwwwww well, think we know he fully intends to start him…. he just arrived and needs to adjust to his new environment, new team, new back line, new coach, new league. Friedel is in good form, so why not let him go while this happens and you establish the tone that no matter who you are nor how much you make, you have to earn your spot. He’ll be minding the net within 3 games games… unless Brad performs miracles, meantime, there’s no shame sitting behind the likes of Freidel.


  • atd

    It’s not a question of whether they play him, it’s a question of when they play him. And the answer is, not as long as they have a better option. He WILL take over as the starter at some point, but not right now.


  • afw

    What will the French say if it’s October and Lloris is still on the bench?He’s the French no.1 for a reason. What if Friedel’s excellent play has an effect on French hopes for WC qualifying?


  • soccerroo

    I understand Deschamp being upset that his #1 GK might sit the bench for a while, we hear this from JK that US players need to go where they will play. But what I do not understand is why anyone is upset with AVB for saying hey with the way my current keeper played this week you are going to have to come in and earn your spot.

    If Lloris is a great keeper then he will get his chance and make the most of it. If he does not make the most of it then he will ride the pine until he is ready and someone else on Frances national team will need to step up.


  • MensreaJim

    I don’t have anything against France, but I delight in the idea of our keeper from 10 years ago keeping the Knight of Flowers on the bench.


  • away goals

    Very true. I was defending the decision to spend big money on a young gk even if you don’t plan to start him immediately.

    If they only have him for 5 years, they’d still get a decent transfer fee for a first class 30 year old gk.


  • The Imperative Voice

    And I was responding to someone saying they have all the time in the world because Lloris will be there forever, when he will be on his 3rd team already, and would be coming in by the very transfer implicitly denied a possibility going out.

    It reminds of a joke by the Guardian regarding RvP …. RvP meets the g/f’s parents. “Mom, dad, this is RvP, he left his last significant other for a pile of cash…”

    If I am just a stepping stone for Lloris I want to go ahead and use him while he’s on my rock. It reminds of Dom Kinnear and how we could bring in God (already fit) and he would follow the same progression of slow integration.

    Judging by their GA and table position I’d have him in the lineup yesterday. I could understand Chelsea or City saying bide your time we got a winner rolling but this is an 0-2-1 side with a negative goal difference.

    To me, this feels like more of AVB failing to handle a roster well, just like last season.


  • Dave in San Jose

    Oh, I miss Special One TV. Jose would have crucified Sven over this one. Something about a sinking career, young Thai boys, and “shut up”.


  • away goals

    Point well made about spurs being a stepping stone for lloris. But I still don’t think you’re forced to play him ahead of somebody who’s arguably able to perform better (today, at least).

    The starting gk decision requires a little more nuance than saying “We’re 0-2-1 with a negative gd. See ya, current #1.”

    Analysis of the season so far might show friedel is to thank for spurs having any points at all.


  • GW


    F+++ Lloris and his reputation;it’s not about individuals.

    The idea of spending all that money on Lloris was to insure the Tottenham keeper gives a world class performance every game.

    It does not matter if that keeper is Friedel, Lloris, Gomes or James. ( you, not David).

    If Friedel tails off and Lloris gets in then he will have to keep up his standard of play knowing that Brad and Gomes are there breathing down his neck.

    It’s called competition and a lot of managers give it lip service but in this case AVB apparently means it.

    And if it pushes everyone into giving their best performance the entire year then “that kind of money” is well spent.

    They pay him well enough so if Lloris doesn’t like he can do something about it. In America it is called put up or shut up.
    If he is as good as his reputation then he will oust Brad. If he is an expensive fraud then he can cry all the way to the bank.


  • GW

    Unless you are a fan of France, who cares?

    If Lloris is so good he’ll beat out Friedel. If not, too bad.


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